1) Do as much the day before so you can enjoy your guests during the party.
2) Marinades and spice rubs impart excellent flavors to simple cuts of meat, chicken, or fish. Try using your favorite vinaigrette as a quick marinade for flank steaks and chicken pieces. Or mix up a batch of your favorite spices and dried herbs, season with salt and sugar for balance, and rub this into your steaks and chops.
3) Have a few apps for your guests at the start of the game, then serve a one pot meal at halftime, like gumbo or chili, that people can serve themselves as they like through the night.
4) Try to have at least two different dips to choose from –- and never underestimate the value of a simple crudite platter. Get creative with the veggies that you choose and think about different colors and textures to keep it interesting.